Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2135th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3583, April 13, 2006.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:email@example.com
|L.A.con IV in 2006!||Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Salamander Press #2618|
Michael Burlake came early to the hospital last Thursday, and finished assembling my bookcase before taking me to the LASFS meeting. Rob Powell was there, back from his visit to Tokyo with Tucson Furry fandom, with lots of photos and a pocketful of Japanese coins. The program was a compilation of video trailers from several studios for forthcoming s-f & fantasy movies: Happy Feet, Monster House, X-Men: The Last Stand, Poseidon, The Wild, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and one documentary; Disney's IMAX Roving Mars. The Poseidon trailer lasted so long that it began to feel like a feature itself.
On Saturday, Rob Powell took me to the April Cinema Anime meeting. It shared Freehaer Hall with a LASFS yard sale and bake sale, and the yard was so full of those tables that there was barely room to get my wheelchair past into the rear building. Powell bought me some cookies from the bake sale. Brett Achorn was back, and we had a usual program of episodes of Galaxy Angel Z, Heat Guy J, Samurai Champloo, Planetes, Genshikan, Kujibiki Unbalance, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - 2nd Gig, Slayers Next, and Fruits Basket (not in that order). The feature was Howl's Moving Castle, which the C/FO has already shown. Christian McGuire asked me how to contact the C/FO to tell the club that it would have to move its August meeting since SCIFI would need Freehafer Hall that weekend for a staging area for L.A.con IV. When we returned to the hospital, Powell got the e.mail addresses of the major C/FO officers from my computer to give to McGuire, who will notify them directly.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
Cover - (Schirmeister) Any reptile that risks standing in for Santa Claus had better expect to freeze. Especially if the setting is one of Saturn's moons, which it looks like with Saturn hovering so large in the sky.
Fish Out of Water #165 - (Helgesen) It has been at least a half-dozen years since I searched for copies of van Genechten's Van den vos Reynaerde, Ruwaard Boudewijn en Jodocus in North American libraries and found it listed only in the New York Public Library's collection. Either I did a poor job of searching, or those other libraries did not yet have their catalogues online, or they had not gotten the book yet. But if there are only six copies listed in North America besides the one that I donated to the University of California at Riverside's library, it is still pretty rare. I wonder if it is in any Holocaust museum collections. Incidentally, does the Library of Congress have a copy? At the time that I searched for it, the listing in the Library of Congress' National Union Catalogue was for the NYPL's copy, not one in its own collection. The Library of Congress' online catalogue today still does not show anything by Robert van Genechten. (The only things he wrote besides Van den vos Reynaerde were 1930s National Socialist political tracts.) I do not know whether to hope that there are more than sixteen copies left in Europe or not. I oppose book burning, especially of Furry literature that is at least imaginatively plotted (Van den vos Reynaerde predates Animal Farm by eight years; I cannot tell if it is well-written since I do not read Dutch), but I do not want to support anti-Semitic literature, either. ## I have been through the Hollywood & Highland Kodak Theatre & its surrounding shopping complex a couple of times. Unless you are turned on by very swanky multi-level shopping centers, it has little of interest. But as I said previously, the Egyptian Theatre and the L. Ron Hubbard museum are within a couple of blocks of the Chinese Theatre (along with several other gaudy tourist traps such as Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not Odditorium), so all of them together might be worth the trip to the location. I would also recommend the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences' headquarters on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, if it happens to have a particularly interesting exhibit of movie memorabilia in its museum/gallery at the time of your visit. The exhibit of over 75 years' worth of Al Hirschfeld's movie posters and other celebrity caricatures in Broadway reviews, magazine articles, etc., was really spectacular, but that was a couple of years ago. Check the Academy's website to find out what is on exhibit when you come out here.
John DeChancie's National Sopwith Camel Aeroline - (Cantor) Is that "National" like April being National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month? Or National Frog Month? Or National Pecan Month? Or National Poetry Month? Who decides these things, anyway? (For websites attempting to cash in on the occasions, go to http://www.geocities.com/pegmih/April.html or http://www.newyorkmetro.com/restaurants/shortlists/16554/ or http://www.grilledcheese-contest.com/index.cfm.) Hey, we can add pecans to a grilled cheese sandwich, feed it to a frog, then write a poem about it. ## I may be a barbarian, but I do not like Thousand Island dressing, so I always ordered my Bob's Big Boy burgers without it, when I ate at the Bob's Big Boy Restaurant that used to be near my home in Culver City. It was replaced by a Coco's. ## Could we (various LASFS members) get Schirm's art sent to the same places where most Hugo-winning fan art is published?
De Jueves #1473 - (Moffatt) I do not find the Three Stooges movies very funny, either, but at least they were competent comedians who amused a large public. Similarly, all of the s-f novels like Goulart's Skyrocket Steele that I have read about real aliens disguising themselves as humans and becoming actors in "exceptionally realistic sci-fi" movies have been too slapstick for my taste, but they were written competently enough. I cannot think of anyone who would enjoy the nonstop barrage of lame jokes and completely silly situations that is the Xanthan Gumm type of humor. Admittedly, I have never cared for any TV comedies with loud laugh tracks telling me what is supposed to be funny, and many of them have been popular. ## The hospital moved me from Room 12 to Room 15, and my current roommate from Room 11 to 15. Room 15 used to be for women only, but the hospital got so many new women patients that it decided to consolidate men in 15 and make both 11 and 12 for women. Since Room 15 is larger than either 11 or 12 and the change worked to my benefit, I did not complain. ## As I reported last week, Mann's Chinese Theatre is officially Grauman's Chinese Theatre once again, although the reversion to the original name does not seem to have been well publicized. The theater is still owned by the Mann Theatres chain, which doubtlessly adds to the confusion. ## I was going to say that "soda pop" is still a common name for soft drinks in Southern California, until I realized that I am so old-fashioned that it may not be any longer. I still say "swell" and "two bits". Somebody who is younger than I had better report on this.
We Make Do With Cat Scans - (Gold) There is room in Room 15 for the cabinets that used to be under my desk (as part of the supports for that desk) at my apartment, but before asking for them I will have to find out how much of Room 15 I am entitled to. I assume that my roommate is entitled to half of the room, if he should want the space. By the way, those cabinets used to be full of kipple (random stuff). What happened to the old contents?
Godzillla Verses #81 - (DeChancie) Your report of the Rachmaninoff movie reminds me of H. Beam Piper's satire in Uller Uprising of pop culture revisions of history hundreds of years later. Piper's was about a World War II novel that had Eleanor Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler carrying on a torrid romance behind FDR's back, written so far in the future that the public neither knew nor cared about whether it was accurate or not. I believe that during the 1950s the descendants of Louisiana Governor William Claiborne (1803-1816) threatened or tried to take some kind of legal action against Paramount for its 1958 movie The Buccaneer about the pirate Jean Lafitte (Yul Brynner) during the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, which was mostly about a fictional love triangle between Lafitte, Gen. Andrew Jackson (Charlton Heston), and Gov. Claiborne's (E. G. Marshall) beautiful daughter (Inger Stevens). As I recall, the reported legal action involved a defamation of character charge for making Claiborne the villain, whose unreasonable hostility toward the heroic but disreputable Lafitte threatened the American defense against the British. I have not been able to find any information about this on the Internet, but if I recall correctly, the case was thrown out on the grounds that historical characters cannot be defamed by clearly fictitious depictions of them.
Toodequirtle #6 - (Castora) I do not think that Xanthan Gumm would have been funny even if it had been as short as DeChancie's "Phil Castora International Aeroport". I was immediately put off by such obvious inconsistencies/questions as: How do aliens throughout the galaxy see Earth movies if the aliens are allowed no closer to Earth than the fringes of our Solar System? (The novel emphasizes that it is Earth's Movies that are popular, not TV broadcasts of them - or TV at all - so how do the aliens see them outside of our movie theaters?) Why does the novel (or the 16 pages of it that I read) emphasize only recent American-made, English-language movies, and none in other languages? If Earth's Movies are that popular throughout the galaxy, why doesn't any other planet start a similar movie industry? I do not think that Jack Benny's comedy sketches were this illogical and poorly constructed. By the way, since you liked the Barry Manilow joke, I know who Barry Manilow is but what movies has he appeared in?
Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) Considering that the website of Barstow Productions, the publisher of Robin Reed's novel, lists her as the company's vice president, I would guess that the novel's quality or lack of same did not have a lot to do with its getting accepted for publication. Also, aside from the fact that Xanthan Gumm does have an ISBN number (or an ISBNumber, for the nitpickers among us), it barely looks like a "real book". You can find print-on-demand publishers whose books look more booklike, with justified right margins, single-spaced rather than double-spaced lines of text, title pages, the publisher's address in the books, copyright statement and date of publication, etc. Let me know if you want any recommendations (see http://www.hardshell.com/aboutus.htm for example); but as you realize, it is better to find an established publisher that will buy your fiction for money up front and publish it in a book that will go into bookstores across the nation, than to go to the best print-on-demand publisher that will just print your fiction in an attractive edition without charging you for it and promise you royalties on sales, but leave it to you to do all the work of publicize & selling it.